John Nadas, Macey Russell
Carlos Perez-Albuerne, Christine Savage, Chief Justice Margaret Marshall
Choate ranked No. 1 in The American Lawyer’s 2016 Summer Associate satisfaction survey with perfect scores in each of the nine rating metrics for the third consecutive year. Summer associates said they were involved in interesting work, performed “real’ work, received exceptional training and guidance and interacted positively with partners and full-time associates. Choate also earned top scores for communication, accurately portraying itself during the interview process and for the associates’ interest in working there if they were offered a position. Overall, associates unanimously voted Choate as a top place to work.
Choate attorneys were recently among the first lawyers in the country to successfully challenge the constitutionality of a school district's "zero tolerance" weapons policy, in the case of an honor student who disarmed a student who threatened his friend with a pocket knife and then delayed turning the knife over to school officials. Choate’s “Education Law Project” collaboration with the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice at Harvard Law School works to combat the “school to prison pipeline” problem in Massachusetts, which results in at-risk (predominantly) minority students ending up in prison after facing school disciplinary exclusions.
Choate regularly represents asylum seekers and detainees from African countries and has a longstanding collaboration with PAIR, the Political Asylum Immigration Project. Choate recently represented a Ugandan client successfully before the US Department of Homeland Security who had been brutally gang raped on two separate occasions in an attempt to stifle her political activism, and the firm is currently working to reunite her with her young children who remain in Uganda. Because of our success on behalf of that client, we have been referred additional cases involving rape as a tool for political suppression in Uganda.
Choate represents Clarence Aaron in his petition to commute an unjust prison sentence issued under the old sentencing guidelines governing possession/distribution of crack cocaine. Mr. Aaron grew up poor in Mobile, Alabama but was accepted into college through his dedication to education, church, sports and family. After his grandfather died and with no financial support for college, Mr. Aaron participated in two drug transactions instigated by an old friend. After the second transaction was thwarted, Mr. Aaron turned himself in to the police without the effective guidance of counsel and severely received three life sentences. Choate filed a motion for resentencing that was denied by the same judge who sentenced Mr. Aaron. President Bush denied Mr. Aaron’s commutation petition, and Choate is preparing to submit a clemency petition to the Obama administration.
commitment to diversity
Diversity and inclusiveness are strategic priorities and core values at Choate. Fully committed to recruitment of lawyers of color, LGBT community and women. Leader in diversity initiatives.
From writing a thought-leading article on promoting diversity in corporate offices and law firms in the ACC Docket to hosting a highly interactive diversity summit for Fortune 500 general counsel, Choate is on the cutting-edge of strategies for achieving sustainable racial and ethnic diversity and inclusion.
Diversity Achievement Awards
Diversity awards that speak for themselves:
Thurgood Marshall Award – Boston Bar Association
Burton Award – Burton Foundation, Library of Congress
Latino Leadership Award – Mass Association of Hispanic Attorneys
Woman of Justice Award – Mass Lawyers Weekly, WBA
Civil Rights Recognition Award – Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights
Diversity Hero – Mass Lawyers Weekly
20 On the Move Award – El Planeta and Boston Business Journal
Corporate Philanthropy Partners of the Year Award – BBJ
Outstanding Pro Bono Detention Attorney of the Year – PAIR
Best Place to Work for LGBT Equality – Human Rights Campaign
Pro Bono Award – BU School of Law’s Black Law Students Association
Diversity leadership (present and recent past):
President – Mass Association of Hispanic Attorneys
President – Asian American Lawyers Association of Mass
Founder/Co-Chair – BBA Diversity and Inclusion Section
Founder – BBA Diversity Leadership Task Force
Founder/Executive Committee – Boston Lawyers Group
Deputy Regional President – Hispanic National Bar Association
Board of Trustees – Women’s Bar Foundation
Supporting its Women Lawyers
Empowering women lawyers at Choate:
- First major law firm in Boston to elect women equity partners
- Mentoring circles of women partners for women associates
- Back-up emergency day care
- 60% of women work part-time
- Parental leave program
- Monthly senior and junior women’s lunches
Diversity Awareness & Communication
In furtherance of diversity and inclusiveness:
- Diversity committee consisting of partners, associates and staff
- Hiring committee includes Co-Chair of Diversity Committee and diverse lawyers
- 1L Diversity Fellowship program
- Awarded to student with demonstrated commitment to promoting diversity
- Paid position in Choate’s summer program
- Eligible for stipend of up to $10,000
- Summer program “Pride Week” event and lawyers of color dinners
- Diversity speaker series:
- Governor Deval Patrick, Massachusetts
- Professor Charles Ogletree, Harvard Law School
- Patricia McGovern, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
- Marc Gary, Fidelity Investments
- Mark Roellig, MassMutual Financial Group
- Little Rock Nine (Civil Rights Heroes of School Integration)
Choate lawyers have committed over 41,000 hours to pro bono work in past three years. Choate’s commitment to diversity enhances firm’s ability to provide outstanding service and value to clients.